Smoking is now prohibited in certain areas of 11 regional parks in Maricopa County as part of increased fire restrictions.
The restriction, which became effective on Tuesday, prohibits smoking except within an enclosed personal vehicle or at developed recreation sites such as parking lots and campsites.
The smoking ban is an extension of the annual fire restrictions that went into effect on May 1, which includes a ban on the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills.
A date to lift the fire restrictions has not been determined.
People are allowed to use gas or propane grills in designated areas.
Regional parks included in the fire restrictions are:
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Adobe Dam Regional Park
Buckeye Hills Regional Park
Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Hassayampa River Preserve
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
According to a press release, Maricopa County officials enacted the smoking ban based on wildfire activity within the White Tank Mountain Regional Park and Cave Creek Regional Park boundaries.
Most of Arizona is experiencing extreme drought conditions, leaving extremely dry vegetation, which is ideal for wildfire ignition. The new restrictions have been put into effect to limit the possibility of a brush fire starting.
Those who smoke in the designated areas of Maricopa County’s regional parks are asked to ensure all materials are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
It is estimated that Arizona wildfires have burned more than 17,000 acres so far this year.
For more information regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit maricopacountyparks.net/.